Tuesday, March 9, 2010


As a programmer I have worked with several operations managers and I have had the position several times myself. What a Catch-22 position. It serves as the clearinghouse for programming matters and doubles in some situations as the technical and administrative guru. In other situations, it serves, as the guy who does the stuff the market manager doesn't have time to do. I thought the position concentrated on programming and the staff thought it meant to do everything they didn't want to do.

In most clusters, the operations manager works with the program directors, in some clusters, he or she is the program director of 6 stations. As post consolidation radio grew in the 90's, the need for a programming strategist and administrative maniac grew, to work with the multiple program directors and serve as the program director of one of the stations in the cluster.

This position literally serves as a paper pushing administrative position that works with sales, the manager, programming and way more politics than programming. One major problem with a program director who interfaces with an operations manager and not the market manager, the market manager only knows what the OM tells him or her. Unless you throughly trust the capabilities of the operations manager, you could be setting yourself up for disaster. Keep copying the market manager on everything you send the operations manager.

I feel the ultimate and ideal definition of operations manager is performing like a cluster group program director and helping the program director's with their daily problems and hurdles as well as creating entertaining radio across the format spectrum. What a pipedream that is? Look the generic description of an operations manager:

Job Description of an Operations Manager
By Sheena Binkley

An Operations Manager manages the day-to-day operations of an organization or business. Her sole purpose is to find ways to make the company more prolific by providing effective methods in its business operations. An individual in this position usually prepares program budgets, facilitates several programs around the company, controls inventory, handles logistics, and interviews and supervises employees. A person interested in operations management needs to have a strong leadership background and must know how to handle problems quickly and efficiently. In addition, she must have great communication skills.

Work Environment

One of the duties an Operation Manager has to perform is to provide a work environment that engenders positive energy, creativity and teamwork among employees. To ensure that this goal is achieved, Operations Managers try to reach compromises with employees by conducting meetings, listening to each department's issues and concerns, and setting a professional example by showing leadership qualities.

Institute Rules

In order for a department to run smoothly, an Operations Manager has to set rules and procedures for employees to follow. This includes setting policies in the workplace to ensure effective implementation and adherence among each and every employee in the organization.

Manages Budget

An Operations Manager usually handles a company's operating budget to determine how much the company has spent and what it can purchase in the near future. Being an Operations Manager is all about serving customers; therefore the individual needs to know how much money is in a company's budget to provide the products and services that will retain customers.


Operations Managers are also representatives at committee meetings and functions. The manager will be a spokesperson for the company and discuss the various objectives and plans the organization has in store to make its business more successful.


Handling issues is also a top priority among Operations Managers. Many issues that Operations Managers have to face include risk management, shipment delays, clients' dissatisfaction, and employee problems. This is when leadership skills come into play, as Operations Managers have to make effective decisions that will not only help the company run smoothly but that also serve to prevent difficult situations in the future.


Operation Managers are also responsible for hiring employees inside an organization, as well as supervising and evaluating employees and their job performance. In addition to being a recruiter, Operations Managers give directions to employees on certain job tasks, resolve problems concerning employees' work performance, establish rules and procedures, and create work schedules.



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